Creativity Resources – IWSG

The last two months I was seriously in need of help and support. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group made me feel welcome, calmed me down, and pointed me in a new direction.

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

The IWSG is a network of writers whose purpose is to “share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.”

Thank you to those who read my posts and offered encouragement and advice! This time I decided to give back by sharing some resources I’ve found very helpful.

*  *  *

Two things had been worrying me. First, I was restless and bored in my writing and lacked forward momentum in revising my novel. Second, when chaos struck in my personal life, I couldn’t cope and just completely stopped writing or revising. I wanted strategies to help me get out of my rut and deal with stress better.

I started by looking for ways to boost my creativity. I hoped that getting some fun and inspiration back into my life would help my writing. Three websites, coming at creativity from slightly different perspectives made a big impact on me.

*  *  *

Jennifer Blanchard at Inky Bites (you may know her from Procrastinating Writers Blog) is a writer, speaker, and writing coach but she’s also a certified holistic health coach and has combined these interests on her site.

What first attracted me was a blog post entitled A Cheatsheet for Making This Year Your Best Creative Year Yet, but what sucked me in was a section about our writing dreams. It made me really think about something I’d not dared to let see the light of day and made me excited to plan actual steps to reach that goal.

She’s a firm believer in being able to make a living at our creative endeavors vs being a slave to the corporate world. Halleluhia to that! Her latest post about “writer-preneurs” is thought-provoking.

She also has a series, Recharge Your Creative Batteries in 31 days, which I plan to start this month.

*  *  *

I think it was through Inky Bites that I learned of the site, Puttylike, which was a bit of a revelation to me. The site was started by Emilie Wapnick as a way to bring together people she terms “multipotentialites” – those who “have many different interests and creative pursuits” but no “one true calling.” Mainstream society tends to frown on this and prefer specialists, but not everyone fits the mold.

I initially thought this explained one of my daughters but the more I considered it, I realized I had more than a tendancy for it myself. I was fascinated and plan to dig deeper into this.

*  *  *

Melissa Dinwiddie at Living a Creative Life is an artist, writer, singer, musician, and creativity coach. She’s a “recovering perfectionist” (my favorite kind!) who’s made it her mission in life to help others find their creative passion and kindle (or rekindle) the spark.

She has a free Creative Ignition mini-course that made me really think about how I’ve prioritized things in my life, look at specific problems (the ones that led to my stress) and figure out possible solutions, and brainstorm ways to stay focused. She used videos with lots of examples.

She has many different programs going on throughout her site, with different levels of participation available (this is how she earns her living, after all). The free stuff she offered and her blog have helped set a bit of a fire under me and I feel inspired again.

CreativityDemotivational

It’s been a wild ride this month for me. These women and their websites were the catalyst that helped me pull myself out of a gooey bog. In the process I also learned (and worked out for myself) some ways for handling stressful situations.

I’m happy to say I’m back to work on my revision. Some days are better than others, but I’m more calm and no longer feel stuck in my own version of The Pit and the Pendulum. I’m trying some new things and making some changes. My outlook is no long so bleak, though I just wish the weather here felt the same way!

I hope you find some creative inspiration through these links.

What resources have you found that spark your imagination and creativity? 

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15 comments on “Creativity Resources – IWSG

  1. Thanks for the shout-out, E.K.! I’m so glad my Creative Ignition Challenge was helpful, and I’m honored to be included in such good company here on your blog. 🙂

    I love how you didn’t let yourself stay stuck, but instead sought out help in several different venues — hooray for you! You’re a wonderful role model.

    Good luck with the revising! I’m in the middle of my own big writing project, so I know first-hand the challenges of which you speak. 🙂

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    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Thank you, Melissa! You and your site have inspired me to step back and make time for some fun so I’m loosened up and ready to write, but also address some of the serious stuff too.

      I saw that you are working on a book – awesome! I wish you clarity and persistence, things I’ve learned are very important in working on a long project like that.

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  2. curiocat says:

    Gooey bog. That about describes it sometimes, doesn’t it?

    I probably use unconventional methods to get passed my gooey bog days. I look for things to cheer me up such as comedy shows like The Big Bang, read favorite old books, look for positive and funny things on the net. It helps get my mind off of whatever the issue is. Every now and then lightening strikes and my subconscious provides an answer or solution I can live with.

    It seems as though you’ve added some more resources for me to use. Thanks for the information.

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  3. I’ll definitely look into these – I don’t think I really do enough to ‘spark’ my creativity. I often feel that I’ve got the vague factual outline for something, but there’s no life to it, if that makes sense?

    Hopefully I’ll be following in your wake before long!

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    • E.K. Carmel says:

      Oh, I’m very familiar with that. I can write the basic structure of a scene, but if I’m uninspired, it’s boring and lifeless. I hope these resources will be helpful to you!

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  4. Ugh, revision sucks. But sounds like you’ve gotten some great help. I need to visit those articles

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  5. Good for you. I’m glad things are going better.

    When I need inspiration, I usually take a break and read good fiction and or a good craft book. Blog friends and crit partners help, too. 🙂

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  6. LGSmith says:

    Glad you found something to get you out of the muck. I usually go out and do something non-writing related, like go to a museum or a play, and for some reason it kick starts my creative juices again. But sometimes hearing the right advice at the right time can help, too, to get me over the hump.

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  7. E.K. Carmel says:

    Thank you, Melissa and LG. Those are all really great ideas as well!

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  8. D J Mills says:

    I agree with all the other suggestions, and have tried them all, but the best for me is to have a “nanna nap”. It is surprising how my mind works through the problems while I am sleeping. I wake ready to tackle the problem. 🙂

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  9. I always turn to music when I get stuck. At school for some reason Graham Nash’s songs for beginners helped me with maths. On the rare occasions I get writers block or just get a bit dull, Bukowski or Tom Waites help. but mostly I just need to get out more – a walk in the woods cannot help but give you ideas. good luck as always.

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  10. E.K. Carmel says:

    Thanks, Diane and Barb, for more great suggestions. Though I’m not a napper, I’ll often wake up in the morning with ideas. I love music and it always puts me in a good mood. Walking is a good idea, and I’ll do that during warmer weather, but right now in the winter it isn’t good for my asthma.

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